JOB POST: Research Assistant for AFrican Policy on Disability and Development

Posted on 10 March 2009. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Vacancy – Research Assistant Position for African Policy on Disability and Development (A-PODD)

Application Deadline: 13 March , 2009

A-PODD has a Research Assistantship position for 1 Year, and the candidate has to be from Sierra Leone. We seek a person with experience in researching disability issues for the above position. The project is housed at the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and the Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin and The Secretariat of the African Decade for Persons with Disability, being other partners.

The Research Assistant should have a degree in a relevant social or health science, or evidence of operating at an equivalent level. The Research Assistant will be considered for fully-funded registration for a Masters in Research at Stellenbsoch University. Limited travel to South Africa will be required, with the Research Assistant based in Sierra Leone.

This is a re-advertisement as only two applicants with the relevant qualifications have been shorted listed. We need 3 interviewees so that we have a wide selection. The teleconferencing interview will take place on the 19th April 2009. People with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Project Description
A-PODD is a three year project funded by the (Irish) Health Research Board and Irish Aid. A-PODD is led by Prof Mac MacLachlan, Centre for Global Health and School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin; Ms Gubela Mji, Centre for Rehabilitation Studies, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and Mr A.K. Dube, The Secretariat of the African Decade for Persons with Disability.

This research investigates how disability can be put on the agenda of national and international development initiatives. It focuses on how research evidence can be utilised to inform the policy environment (such as PRSPs and SWAps), development institutions (such as the IMF, World Bank and WHO), as well as less formal local, community and grass-roots decision making and inclusion efforts.

A-PODD will undertake four country case studies: in Sierra Leone, a country emerging from conflict that resulted in many people being disabled; Malawi and Uganda, the only two African countries that have Ministries for people with disabilities; and Ethiopia, the second most populous country in Africa, with significant geographical barriers and a highly dispersed population, presenting significant challenges to the inclusion of people with disability.

Our comparative analysis will inform disability policy and implementation within the region. Barriers and facilitators will be identified along implementation pathways, and so too will local means and mechanisms of addressing these. Country reports will be discussed at a concluding workshop to which governments, civil society, donors, researchers and others will be invited. A code of best practice will be drawn up for Moving Evidence to Action on African Disability Policy.

Other collaborating partners on this project are:

International Partners:
Department of Psychology at Stellenbosch University
Southern African Federation of the Disabled
Ministry of Persons with Disabilities and the Elderly, Government of Malawi
Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa
South African Medical Research Council’s Cochrane Centre
SINTEF Health Research (Norway)
World Bank

Irish Partners:
Institute for Nursing Research, University of Ulster Law & Policy Research Unit, NUI Galway.
National Institute for Intellectual Disability, Trinity College Dublin
Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin.

Bursary
Research Assistants will be appointed in the range EUR8,000-10,000 (Euro)

Applications
Interested applicants should send
1) A statement of interest – 1 page
2) A Curriculum Vitae –
3) Contact details for at least two referees (at least one of which should be an academic).

For any quiries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please forward your application to:

Dr Tsitsi Chataika (Post doctoral Research Fellow)
E-mail: tchataika@sun.ac.za

Dr Tsitsi Chataika – Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Stellenbosch University
Tygerberg Campus
Faculty of Health Science
Centre for Rehabilitation Studies
African Policy On Disability and Development (A-PODD) Project
P.O Box 7505
Tygerberg, 7505
South Africa
Tel: +27 219389816 (office)
+27 7764085148 (Cell/Mobile)
Fax:+27 219146875



I received this job post announcement via the Disability-Research listserv.

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RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS on African Policy on Disability and Development

Posted on 10 July 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Nominations or Applications, Cross-Disability, Education and Training Opportunities, Fellowships & Scholarships, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities, Poverty, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Research Positions for African Policy on Disability & Development (A-PODD)

Two Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships for 3 years
Four Research Assistantships for 1 Year,
one in each of Sierra Leone, Uganda, Ethiopia & Malawi

We seek people with experience in researching disability issues for the above positions which will be based at the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, with associated appointments at the Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin and The Secretariat of the African Decade for Persons with Disability.

Post-Doctoral Fellows should have completed, or be completing, a PhD in disability or a closely related area, and be willing to travel between Ireland, South Africa, and two of the project countries.

Research Assistants should have a degree in a relevant social or health science, or evidence of operating at an equivalent level. Research Assistants may be considered for fully-funded registration for a Masters in Research at Stellenbsoch University. Limited travel to South Africa will be required with Research Assistants based in one of the four project countries.
We are particularly keen to encourage applications from persons with disability.

Project Description
A-PODD is a three year project funded by the (Irish) Health Research Board and Irish Aid. A-PODD is led by Prof Mac MacLachlan, Centre for Global Health and School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin; Ms Gubela Mji, Centre for Rehabilitation Studies, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and Mr A.K. Dube, The Secretariat of the African Decade for Persons with Disability.

This research investigates how disability can be put on the agenda of national and international development initiatives. It focuses on how research evidence can be utilised to inform the policy environment (such as PRSPs and SWAps), development institutions (such as the IMF, World Bank and WHO), as well as less formal local, community and grass-roots decision making and inclusion efforts.

A-PODD will undertake four country case studies: in Sierra Leone, a country emerging from conflict that resulted in many people being disabled; Malawi and Uganda, the only two African countries that have Ministries for people with disabilities; and Ethiopia, the second most populous country in Africa, with significant geographical barriers and a highly dispersed population, presenting significant challenges to the inclusion of people with disability.

Our comparative analysis will inform disability policy and implementation within the region. Barriers and facilitators will be identified along implementation pathways, and so too will local means and mechanisms of addressing these. Country reports will be discussed at a concluding workshop to which governments, civil society, donors, researchers and others will be invited. A code of best practice will be drawn up for Moving Evidence to Action on African Disability Policy.

Other collaborating partners on this project are:

International Partners:
Department of Psychology at Stellenbosch University
Southern African Federation of the Disabled
Ministry of Persons with Disabilities and the Elderly, Government of Malawi
Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa
South African Medical Research Council’s Cochrane Centre
SINTEF Health Research (Norway)
World Bank

Irish Partners:
Institute for Nursing Research, University of Ulster
Law & Policy Research Unit, NUI Galway.
National Institute for Intellectual Disability, Trinity College Dublin
Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin.

Salaries
Post-Doctoral Research Fellows will be appointed in the range €25,000-30,000 (Euro)
Research Assistants will be appointed in the range €8,000-10,00 (Euro)

Applications
Interested applicants should send

1) A statement of interest
2) A Curriculum Vitae
3) Contact details for at least two references (at least one of which should be an academic).

To either:

1. Ms Magdalena Szewczyk, Centre for Global Health, Trinity College, Dublin.
E-mail: szewczym@tcd.ie

2. Ms Annette Coetzee, Centre for Rehabilitation Studies, Health Science Faculty,
Tygerburg, Cape Town, South Africa. E-mail: annettec@sun.ac.za

3. Mr AK Dube, The Secretariat of the Africa Decade of Persons with Disabilities,
Cape Town, South Africa. E-mail: akdube@africandecade.co.za

The project starts in October 08 and we look forward to making appointmentss as soon as possible.



We Can Do received the above announcement via the Global Parntership for Disability and Development email discussion group.

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NEWS: Kampala, Uganda, Declaration on Disability and HIV & AIDS

Posted on 25 May 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Health, HIV/AIDS, News, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

From: AfricaCampaign@webmail.co.za
Subject: Africa Campaign on Disability and HIV&AIDS update

******* version française dessous *************

It has been just over three-weeks since we converged for the 2nd General Meeting of the Africa Campaign on Disability and HIV & AIDS was held March 11 – 13, in beautiful Kampala, Uganda.

We would like to once again take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the National Union for Disabled People in Uganda (NUDIPU) and the Government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development for gracefully hosting our gathering. Our gratitude is also extended to The Secretariat of the African Decade, Handicap International and once again NUDIPU for supporting the event and last but not least to each and every member of the National Organizing Committee for their exceptional contribution prior to and during the meeting. It would not have been possible without your sterling efforts, long and hard hours and sleepless nights!!!

We were more that 170 delegates representing more that 20 African countries and 10 countries outside of Africa. We came from a wide variety of backgrounds, including civil society, government, academic and research institutions, international NGOs, funding agencies, international stakeholders in HIV/AIDS work and the media.

In addition to networking and rich exchange among groups and countries, the constitution of five working groups with plans of action to further Campaign objectives, a renewed steering committee, we also gave birth together to the Kampala Declaration on Disability and HIV&AIDS. (full text is enclosed in English. Portuguese and French will be forwarded ASAP)

The declaration calls on governments, HIV/AIDS service providers, the African Union, UN agencies, funding agencies, research and academic institutions and disabled people’s organizations to action toward

  • Equal access to HIV/AIDS prevention and services and
  • Full participation by persons with disabilities in the response to HIV/AIDS in every country and at every level.

We hereby encourage you to disseminate this declaration widely within your country, to persons with disabilities, governments, HIV/AIDS service providers, UN agencies, funding agencies, researchers and academic institutions. Please also use opportunities you have with media to highlight this important message. Feel free to add it onto your organisation’s website.

We would like to take this opportunity also to introduce our steering committee and at the same time extend our warmest welcome to the newer members of the committee. They are:

  • Mr. Tambo Camara (Pan African Federation of the Disabled (PAFOD) – Mauritania;
  • Ms. Farida Gulamo (Association of Disabled Mozambicans (ADEMO) – Mozambique;
  • Mr Martin Babu Mwesigwa (National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) – Uganda;
  • Dr. Elly Macha (African Union of the Blind (AFUB) – Kenya;
  • Mrs. Rachel Kachaje (Southern African Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD) – Malawi
  • Mr. Obuya George Onyango (African Deaf Union (ADU) – Kenya;
  • Mr. Paul Tezanou (Chair of the Secretariat of the African Decade) – Cameroon;
  • Hon. Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu (Member of SA parliament, Disability respresentative of SA National AIDS council executive structure) – South Africa;
  • Ms. Fri Beatrice Bime (Global Fund) – Geneva NEW
  • Mr. Oumar Diop (Handicap FormEduC, Resource Centre for the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities) – Senegal NEW
  • Mr. David O. Anyaele (Centre for citizens with disabilities) – Nigeria NEW

We would also like to bring your attention to changes in the campaign management. At the end our gathering we said goodbye to Dr. Susan Girois. She will no longer be actively involved in the work on the Campaign Management Team (CMT), although her expertise, experience, guidance and spontaneity will be sought more often than she expects. Her active participation will surely be missed however knowing she’s on call sets the rest of us at ease. In the same breath we would like to welcome two new additions to the CMT: Kevin Henderson who is the HIV&AIDS technical advisor at Handicap International’s Kenya program and Aïda Sarr, a programme manager for the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities’ West, North and Central Africa regional programme.

We would like to encourage you to please keep us updated on the developments in your respective countries, regions and districts and we promise to share your experiences with the rest of the world.

Gouwah Samuels, Kevin Henderson, Aïda Sarr
Campaign Management Team

Kampala Declaration on Disability and HIV & AIDS

PREAMBLE:

We, the participants of the Second Meeting of the Africa Campaign on Disability and HIV&AIDS representing Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working with and for persons with disabilities, Funding and Development Agencies from 21 African countries and representatives from other parts of the world, a meeting hosted by the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) in conjunction with the Government of Uganda, with support from Handicap International and the African Decade Secretariat, in Kampala, Uganda, March 11-13, 2008;

NOTING the fact that the incidence of HIV is disproportionately high among groups that are excluded socially, culturally and economically, including persons with disabilities, and that these groups are disregarded in a majority of national and international HIV/AIDS programming initiatives in Africa. Further noting the importance of mainstreaming disability issues in relevant strategies to achieve sustainable development;

RECOGNIZING that national, regional, continental and international instruments on human rights, such as the United Nations Human Rights Bill and the International Covenants on Human Rights, have proclaimed and agreed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in these instruments, without distinction of any kind. Further recognizing the principles and objectives of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006, the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS – adopted at the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS in 2001 and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG);

CONSIDERING that despite these various instruments and undertakings to which many United Nations member states are signatories, persons with disabilities continue to face barriers in their participation as equal members of society and violations of their human rights in all parts of the world, including Africa. Persons with disabilities should have the opportunity to be actively involved in decision-making processes about policies and programmes, including those directly concerning them; and the importance of accessibility to the physical, social, economic and cultural environment, to health and education and to information and communication in enabling persons with disabilities to fully enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Further considering the fact that children and women with disabilities are often at greater risk, both within and outside the home, of violence, injury or abuse, neglect, maltreatment or exploitation;

We call on all African Governments to include disability in its diversity as a crosscutting issue in ALL poverty reduction strategies.

Mindful of the above preamble, the signatories to the Kampala Declaration on Disability and HIV & AIDS make the following call that:

African Governments shall ensure that:

National AIDS strategic plans recognize persons with disabilities as vulnerable to the impact of HIV and AIDS as well as valuable contributors in the response to HIV/AIDS.

National HIV/AIDS monitoring and evaluation systems and the existing population surveillance systems include disability specific and disaggregated indicators to be used for planning and programming purposes;

The National HIV/AIDS Commissions/Councils include active representation of persons with disabilities;

Information Education Communication (IEC) strategies at all levels ensure provision for IEC which is accessible to persons with intellectual, mental, physical and sensory disabilities;

HIV/AIDS is recognized as a cause of disability.

HIV/AIDS prevention specialists and service providers shall:

Develop targeted prevention messages and methods that are disability-specific, gender-specific, age-specific and adapted to local language and cultural variations;

Equip all HIV/AIDS care and support service centres to provide comprehensive information and confidential counselling to persons with intellectual, mental, physical and sensory disabilities;

Provide equal opportunity to persons with disabilities to train for and engage in counselling and care provision (i.e. Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT), Preventing Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) and adherence counsellors, and home based care providers;

Associations of people living with HIV and AIDS recognise the rights of persons with disabilities living with HIV and AIDS to ‘access for all’ and provide greater involvement of persons with disabilities in the issues that affect them.

African Union AIDS portfolio and Africa AIDS Watch shall:

Ensure that their strategies, programmes and monitoring systems include disability in its diversity as a cross-cutting issue.

UNAIDS and its composite UN agencies—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—shall:

Recognise disability in its diversity as a cross-cutting issue in all HIV/AIDS policies, guidelines and programmes;

Ensure that their monitoring mechanisms track the involvement of persons with disabilities as planners, implementers as well as beneficiaries of HIV/AIDS programmes.

Funding Agencies shall:

Ensure that their funding requirements include both disability and HIV/AIDS as cross cutting issues;

Provide all key documents related to funding opportunities in formats that are accessible to persons with different types of disabilities;

Ensure that their monitoring mechanisms track the involvement of persons with disabilities in planning and implementation as well as beneficiaries of recipient programmes;

Independent research agencies and academic institutions shall:

Include disability and HIV/AIDS as a priority area for research;

Include disability issues in protocols for designing research programmes;

Ensure that research methods capture data that is disability-specific, gender-specific, age-specific and adapted to local language and cultural variations;

Ensure that persons with disabilities are included as researchers, not only respondents or subjects.

Disabled People’s Organisations shall:

Seek accreditation for civil society representation at the UNGASS through UNAIDS;

Provide/give input into HIV/AIDS country reports through governments;

Solicit the Civil Society Task Force for the High Level HIV/AIDS Meetings for membership and active participation;

Implement measures for the protection and promotion of the rights, needs, confidentiality and dignity of persons with disabilities living with HIV and AIDS;

Raise awareness among persons with disabilities and build HIV/AIDS into their regular programmes;
Avail human resources/disability experts to support the HIV/AIDS response for disabled and non-disabled people at all level

****************************************************************************
***********************

Chers membres du Comité de Pilotage, Sympathisants et Amis de la Campagne Africaine,

Cela fait tout juste 3 semaines depuis que nous nous sommes retrouvés pour la seconde Assemblée Générale de la Campagne Africaine sur le Handicap et le VIH&SIDA. C’était dans la jolie ville de Kampala, Ouganda du 11 au 13 Avril 2008.

Nous aimerions encore une fois saisir cette opportunité pour exprimer notre gratitude à l’Union Nationale des Personnes Handicapées d’Ouganda, au Gouvernement Ougandais, par le biais du Ministère de Genre, du Travail et du Développement Social pour avoir généreusement abrité cette rencontre. Nos remerciements vont également au Secrétariat de la Décennie, Handicap International et encore une fois au NUDIPU pour son soutien sans
faille lors de cet événement. Et enfin, à tous les membres du Comité National d’Organisation pour leur contribution exceptionnelle et efforts considérables déployés avant et durant la réunion. Cela n’aurait pas été possible sans votre dure labeur et nuit sans sommeil !!!

Nous étions plus de 170 délégués venant de plus de 20 pays Africains et 10 hors du continent. Des représentants de la société civile, du gouvernement, d’Institutions académiques, d’ONG internationales, d’Agences de Financement, des partenaires internationaux travaillant dans le domaine du VIH/SIDA et des médias étaient également présents lors de ce grand
rendez-vous.

L’aboutissement de tous nos efforts comme vous le savez, est la Déclaration de Kampala sur le Handicap et le VIH&SIDA. A cela s’ajoute, les discussions fructueuses notées au sein des groupes, la mise en place de 5 groupes de travail avec des plans d’action sur les objectifs de la Campagne et l’entrée au sein du comité de pilotage de nouveaux membres. (ci-joint le texte intégral de la déclaration en Anglais, Portugais et Français, sera transféré ASAP
La Déclaration appelle les gouvernements, les prestataires de services, l’Union Africaine, les Agences des NU, les Agences de financement, les Institutions Académiques et les Organisations de Personnes Handicapées à entreprendre les actions suivantes :

  • L’accès égal à la prévention et aux services du VIH/SIDA et
  • La pleine participation des personnes handicapées à la réponse au VIH/SIDA dans chaque pays et à tous les niveaux.

Nous vous encourageons ainsi, à faire de cette Déclaration une large diffusion dans votre pays, auprès des personnes handicapées, des gouvernements, des prestataires de services, des Agences des NU, des Agences de Financement, des Institutions Académiques. Saisissez les opportunités que vous avez avec les médias pour relayer cet important message auprès du grand public et le publier sur le site web de votre organisation.

Permettez nous également, de vous présenter le comité de pilotage qui s’est élargit et d’accueillir chaleureusement les 3 nouveaux venus :

  • M. Tambo Camara (Panafricaine des Personnes Handicapées (PAFOD) – Mauritanie;
  • Mme. Farida Gulamo (Association des Mozambicains Handicapés (ADEMO) – Mozambique;
  • M. Martin Babu Mwesigwa (Union Nationale des Personnes Handicapées d’Ouganda (NUDIPU) – Ouganda;
  • Dr. Elly Macha (Union Africaine des Aveugles (AFUB) – Kenya;
  • Mme. Rachel Kachaje (Fédération des Personnes Handicapées d’Afrique Australe (SAFOD) – Malawi;
  • M. Obuya George Onyango (Union Africaine des Sourds (ADU) – Kenya;
  • M. Paul Tezanou (Membre du Conseil D’Administration du Secrétariat de la Décennie) – Cameroun ;
  • L’Honorable Député, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu (Parlementaire Sud Africaine; Représentante de la structure exécutive du Conseil National de Lutte contre le Sida) Afrique du Sud) – Afrique du Sud;
  • Mme. Fri Beatrice Bime (Global Fund) – Genève NEW
  • M. Oumar Diop (Handicap FormEduC, Centre de Ressources pour la Promotion des Droits des Personnes Handicapées) – Sénégal NEW
  • M. David O. Anyaele (Centre des Citoyens Handicapés) – Nigéria NEW

Autre changement, le départ du Dr Susan Girois de l’Equipe de Gestion de la Campagne à qui nous disons aurevoir. Elle ne sera plus activement impliquée dans le travail de l’Equipe de Gestion de la Campagne (EGC), cependant son expertise sera toujours mise à contribution. Son expérience, ses conseils and sa spontanéité seront plus souvent sollicités qu’elle ne le pense. Sa participation active nous manquera mais la sachant sur répondeur nous rassure. Dans le même temps, nous aimerions souhaiter la bienvenue au sein de l’ECG à Kevin Henderson, Conseiller Technique en VIH&SIDA à Handicap International et Aïda Sarr Assistante du Programme Régional pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest, Central et du Nord, du Secrétariat de la Décennie Africaine des Personnes Handicapées.

Un rapport détaillé y compris la liste des participants vous sera transmis par email end -Avril. Si vous avez besoin d’une copie sur CD, envoyez nous un email à cette adresse : khenderson@handicap-international.or.ke.

Nous souhaitons que vous nous teniez informer des derniers développements dans vos pays respectifs, régions et districts et nous promettons de les partager avec le reste du monde.

Gouwah Samuels, Kevin Henderson, Aïda Sarr
Equipe de Gestion de la Campagne



We Can Do received the Kampala Declaration on Disability and HIV&AIDS via the Intl-Dev listserv on international development.

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4th All Africa Wheelchair Congress Report Available Online

Posted on 14 May 2008. Filed under: Assistive Devices, Middle East and North Africa, Mobility Impariments, Reports, Resources, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In low-income countries, the overwhelming majority people who need wheelchairs don’t have one. This has a profound impact on their ability to lead independent lives–or even leave their own homes. Participants in a recent conference in Africa exchanged ideas and knowledge on how to address this challenge.

The 4th All Africa Wheelchair Congress Report (PDF format, 446 Kb) can now be downloaded for free on-line. The report summarizes a series of remarks, panel discussions, and other conference sessions on how to promote appropriate wheelchair services across the African continent. The report also presents a list of resolutions made on the last day of the Congress. The 4th All Africa Wheelchair Congress was held in September 2007 in Tanzania.

The Pan Africa Wheelchair Builders Association (PAWBA) and the Tanzanian Training Centre for Orthopaedic Technologists (TATCOT) facilitated the congress. Co-funders included the World Health Organisation, ABILIS, Motivation Africa, Christoffel Blindenmission (CBM), and SINTEF. The 116 participating members came from Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, UK, Norway and USA.

The previous three All Africa Wheelchair Congresses were held in Zambia (2003); Kenya (1998); and Zimbabwe (1995). Each congress was a landmark in developing appropriate and affordable wheelchair products and services in Africa in allowing participants to exchange knowledge across the continent. PAWBA was formed at the 2003 Congress.

You can download the full, 47-page 4th All Africa Wheelchair Congress report in PDF format (446 Kb) at:

http://www.independentliving.org/docs7/pawba-tatcot200709.pdf



We Can Do learned about this report by browsing the AskSource.info database on health, disability, and development. I gathered further detail by skimming the report itself.

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NEWS: Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum Founded

Posted on 8 April 2008. Filed under: Human Rights, News, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ghulam Nabi Nizamani has asked that people circulate the following press release.

COMMONWEALTH DISABLED PEOPLES’ FORUM

Press Release

A New Voice Shouts to the Commonwealth –
Nothing About us Without Us.

Disabled youth and adult people from 16 Commonwealth countries came together from 15-17 March, 2008 in London to launch a unique Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum (1), the purposes of which will be to provide a link between disabled people’s organisations in all Commonwealth countries and all the political structures of the Commonwealth.

At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October 2007 the civil society challenge to CHOGM was to mainstream disability in sustainable development, to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) and to adopt disability inclusive policies. This cannot be achieved without a strong, democratic forum of disabled youth and adults to ensure implementation.

We had a vibrant and dynamic series of meetings to consolidate the vision, constitution and activities of the Forum (2). The youth met separately to devise their own creative methods of self representation and organisation. We came together in a final agreement of how to go forward together. It is essential that the voice of young disabled people is heard clearly in the work of the CDPF. They are the future leaders and builders of our shared vision of a Commonwealth built on equality, human rights and respect for diversity.

The major focus of our work in the next two years, including a major conference before CHOGM in 2009, will be to ensure that Commonwealth countries sign, ratify and implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability. As Rachel Kachaje said at the Launch of the CDPF, hosted by the Commonwealth Foundation at Marlborough House,
‘Disabled people see that hope springs out of the convention – hope for a new, inclusive world where disabled people can be seen as fully human’

We, All Sanghar Handicaps’ Association Pakistan are very proud to have part of this exciting new beginning and look forward to working with our disabled colleagues to ensure our full inclusion in all the nations of our shared Commonwealth.

For further information contact:
Ghulam Nabi Nizamani
South Asia /South East Asia Regional Representative
Bakhoro Road Sanghar-68100, Pakistan. (3)
Ph # +92-333-2916281
Email: ghulamnabi.nizamani@gmail.com (4)

(1) This meeting was funded by the Commonwealth Foundation, DFID, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and ADD.
(2) Officers elected were: Chair: James Mwanda (Uganda), Vice Chair: George Daniel (Tinidad & Tobago), Secretary: Javed Abidi (India), Treasurer: Richard Rieser (UK), Women’s Representative: Rachel Kachaje, (Malawi) Youth Representatives: Laura Kanusu (Uganda)
George Kasara (Kenya), Regional Representatives: Ghulam Nabi Nizaamani (Pakistan), Lesley Emmanuel (Antigua), Setareki Macanawai (Fiji), Steve Estey (Canada) Thomas Ongolo (South Africa).
(3) The registered office of the CDPF will be in India and there will be a liaison office in the UK to work directly with the Commonwealth Secretariat and Foundation.
(4) This email address can be changed after website of CDPF.



In addition to the above press release, Ghulam Nabi Nizamani also made the following note in mid March:

The following countries from South Asia and South East Asia are member countries of Commonwealth. These Countries are invited to submit application for Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum (CDPF) Country Focal Point.
Bangladesh
Brunei Darussalam
India
Malaysia
Maldives
Pakistan
Singapore
Sri Lanka

The Organization must be National Level Organization in respective country if in any country there will be no National Organization we will support to encourage to estabilish National organization in that country. Please also send establishment date of Organization, Network in the Country, Some credible work done in past. Please send information by mail or email before the first week of April 2008.

Cheers!
Ghulam Nabi Nizamani
Regional Representative CDPF
South and South East Asia

Note: We have no contact from Brunei Darussalam please help us for finding National organization there.



Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nizamani for sharing the above press release. Any inquiries should please be emailed to him directly at ghulamnabi.nizamani@gmail.com.

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NEWS: Disability Rights in Malawi

Posted on 19 October 2007. Filed under: News, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Disability rights activist Mussa Chiwaula, a polio survivor, has been lobbying the Malawi government to enable people with disabilities to improve their lives and contribute to the development of their country. One result has been a government policy called Equalization of Opportunities for People with Disabilities, which has started to help some disabled people enter the job force for the first time. Chiwaula, however, says the policy still needs better implementation.

For the whole story on Mussa Chiwaula and his activities in Malawi, read the Voice of America story at http://voanews.com/english/Africa/2007-10-10-voa48.cfm

We Can Do was alerted to this story by Ghulam Nabi Nazimani.


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Violence Against Blind/VI Girls in Malawi

Posted on 6 October 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Blind, Case Studies, Children, Guest Blogger, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This paper was presented by its author Abigail Suka at the 12th International Council on Education for People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) World Conference held in Malaysia from 16-21 July 2006.  Although she was with Sightsavers International at the time she presented this paper, Abigail Suka is now an independent consultant in development issues, team building, and planning.  She is also a part-time postgraduate student working toward a Masters of Public Health (MPH) at the University of Malawi.  Thank you to Abigail Suka for granting permission to publish her paper at We Can Do.

Violence against Girls who are Blind and
Visually Impaired in Schools in Malawi

Abigail Suka
Country Representative
Sight Savers International
Private Bag A 197
Lilongwe
Malawi
Introduction
In Malawi violence against girls (VAG) is rampant. Research work commissioned between recently by DFID, Action Aid and its partners shows that out of all the incidences of violence in schools 65% of these affect girls while 35% affect boys.(1) None of this research has looked at how violence in school affects girls with disabilities in general and visual impairment in particular.

Sight Savers International (SSI) in Malawi is a member of the Civil Society Coalition for Quality Basic Education (CSQBE) which recently conducted a study on Violence Against Girls. SSI collaborated with Malawi Union of the Blind to also gather some information from this study and extrapolate it to attempt to establish how the girl who is blind is affected by such violence. This paper reports issues raised in discussions held by the writer with MUB Girl Guide members using the CSQBE study report as a guide, and some key informants, mainly blind young women who have defied the odds and passed through an unsafe school system. It also draws on literature available on the subject.

What is Gender Based Violence (GBV)?
The Fourth World Conference of Women, held in Beijing, China in 1995, reported the continued exploitation and abuse of girls in spite of the ratification of various UN conventions notably the Convention of the Rights of the Child of 1989. Specific issues raised included the violence directed at girls in the form of female genital mutilation, forced and early marriages, sexual exploitation, unequal access to education and health care. GBV recognizes that violence directed at girls and women is expressive of patriarchal power and authority.(2)

What is School Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV)?
SRGBV comes in various forms such as sexual, physical, verbal, emotional and psychological and occurs in and out of school. Perpetrators of VAG are many but most of the VAG is committed by male pupils and male teachers thereby making schools unsafe for girls. This problem came into the limelight because in most schools enrolment for girls in upper primary school and secondary schools in much lower than boys. Moreover in most schools girls perform poorly during classroom exercises, tests and examinations. This problem is partly attributed to violence and is of concern because they cause high drop out and low education attainment for girls.

The Global Statistics on Violence Against Girls with Disabilities
The FREDA Research Centre on VAG, based in Canada, reports that (3)
• 53% of women with disabilities from birth have been raped, abused, or assaulted (Lynn & O’Neill 1995:278)
• The rate of sexual abuse for girls with disabilities is quadruple that of the national average (Razack 1994)
Another study conducted through the New York City Board of Education who documented cases of adult to student sexual abuse found that whilst students receiving special education made up only 7% of the student body as a whole, they made up twice that percentage of targets of abuse.(4) A report by Waxman Fiduccia summarizing a few studies that offer a gender breakdown suggests that women and girls face higher rates of abuse than men and boys, often at the rate of more than twice the rate of non disabled girls. (5)

Perceptions about Violence Against Girls
Centre for Social Research in Malawi found the following perceptions about acts that constitute violence against girls at school(6):

• Corporal punishments like digging pits, molding bricks during class time
• Teasing, bullying and beating by boys and teachers
• Forced to have relationships and sex with boys and teachers
• Verbal abuse
• Sexually harassment i.e. touching their breasts and other private parts.
• Rape
• Impregnation
• Discrimination by teachers.
• Suspending and expelling girls without warnings.
• Not giving girls chance to voice out their views.

A focus group discussion undertaken with Malawi Union of the Blind – Youth Wing girls when they were undergoing Girl Guide training, identified all the above as factors affecting them and added some more as:

• Threats and actual sexual abuse from specialist teachers, class room (contact) teachers and blind boys
• Promises to marry from blind adults in leadership positions in the organization of the Blind
• Extensive teasing, such as leading them to a wrong classroom, hiding their white cane and their writing materials (Primary Education Pack)
• Not escorting them to the toilet
• Name Calling: For girls with albinism and low vision they face ridiculing name calling such as Zigoma: after the name of a singer with albinism or Mzungu or whitey
• Verbal abuse : belittling them suggesting no one would be interested in an affair with a blind girl

The Face of SRGBV: Low Enrolment of Visually Impaired Girls in School
There are more women with visual impairment than men, however enrolment figures obtained from an integrated education programme that Sightsavers International supports consistently show a lower enrolment of girls in primary schools. Data from 8 project districts is tabulated below:

MALAWI INTEGRATED EDUCATION PROGRAMME
ENROLMENT 2004
DISTRICT IT’s VIC BOYS VIC GIRLS VIC TOTAL
Blantyre 10 129 81 210
Lilongwe 11 140 104 244
Rumphi 8 64 64 128
Chikwawa 5 37 28 65
Zomba 6 35 39 74
Salima 5 41 30 71
Balaka 6 45 58 103
Machinga 8 65 80 145

Total 59 556 484 1040
53% 47%

The Basic Education Statistics 2005, reported national enrollment of visually impaired children in schools in 2005 to be 15490 (7), of which 7412(47%) are girls and 8078 (53%) are boys, as in the project districts supported.

Analysis of the Basic Education Statistics published for 2005 demonstrates that of the number of visually impaired girls who would have started off primary school in Standard 1, only 15% make it to the final class in primary school (Standard 8) indicating an unacceptably high level of drop outs. Although ‘lack of interest’ is indicated as the major reason contributing to high drop out, this consultation and other evidence suggests that violence against these visually impaired girls in school is a key factor in this high drop out rate. Or at least violence in schools is a major cause of the lack of interest, in other words, girls simply stop going to school because of the unsafe environment and this is interpreted as ‘ a lack of interest’ Compared to sighted girls, 25% reach the final primary school class. Compared to visually impaired boys, 31% would reach Standard 8, even beating the sighted pupils demonstrating that girls in general occupy a lower place in society. This also accentuates the fact that when a girl, is not only a girl but is also blind, the odds of her finishing her education are even more limited.

Sadly continuation to secondary school is even more dismal. Of 607 girls with visual impairment who would have completed Standard 8 in 2005, only 217 (35%) would make it to secondary school and not all of these will complete secondary school.

Factors affecting their propensity to Violence
The first obvious factor has to be the limitation caused by the disability itself that may make it more difficult for a girl with visual impairment to detect or even discern the behavior of her perpetrator. Harilyn Rousso in her paper on ‘Sexual harassment in Schools’ intimates that ‘disability – related limitations make it difficult for girls with certain disabilities, to detect and fully understand the nature of the perpetrators behaviour, and some disabilities may limit her ability to defend herself or move away from perpetrators and to report incidents of violence.(8)

The more underlying reasons however lie in the negative attitudes that girls with disability face in their day to day lives. The focus group discussion undertaken with MUB girl guides indicate that many suffer from low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence which makes them portray a sense of helpless which in turn licenses perpetrators. For many girls such abuses start from their homes and extend to their trusted mentors such as a specialist teacher. There is no data to quantify the extent to which people in position of trust such as specialist teachers and classroom teacher, guides etc. This is mainly because the girls will lack the courage to report. Those who can talk about it are no longer in the school system.
In her paper, The Girl Child: Having to ‘Fit’, Yasmin Jiwani, Ph.D. states that ‘girls with disabilities experience higher rates of sexual abuse (at 4 times the national average) because of their dependent status, isolation, and the negative stereotypes that prevail in the dominant society. Afraid to report the abuse because of the fear of not being believed, many of these girls continue to lead lives that are jeopardized by threats and actual incidents of violence’ They are often stereotyped, thereby undermining for actors to deal with unique and specific issue different to each girl. Harilyn Rousso reports of an extreme example of a stereotypical attitude in an incident of a young woman with disability who tried to report an attempted rape, her counselor said ‘Who would want to rape YOU?’ Furthermore, it is unbelievable that in some countries some courts will not entertain allegations of sexual violence brought by blind women or girls, because of supposed difficulties in identifying the perpetrator.

Why should we address Violence against Visually Impaired girls NOW?

1) MDGs and EFA
One of the UN Millennium Development Goals adopted by the Heads of State and Government is to ensure that children everywhere, boys and girls alike, should be able to complete a full course of primary schooling by 2015. In order to achieve this goal, there is need for a 100% net enrolment and completion rates for school age children, including those with disabilities. There are far too few girls with disabilities completing school (15%). If this phenomenon is not addressed, it threatens to derail efforts by governments and other stakeholders to promote girls education and achieve 2015 Education for All (EFA) goals. Without visually impaired girls attaining an education, MDG and EFA will not be a reality for Malawi.

Girls with Disabilities are bound together by double discrimination based on gender and disability. Statistics tell us that females with disabilities are achieving less in terms of employment and socialization into the mainstream of life than men with disabilities, with the vast majority of women living in dependent and comparatively impoverished circumstances.(9) In many developing countries, there are few educational opportunities for girls with disability. When there are opportunities for education, in special schools, boys usually receive them. Therefore it is necessary to ensure that where visually impaired girls are managing to go to school as is the case in Malawi where at least 400 girls with visual impairment were attending an integrated education in 2004, concerted effort should be made by stakeholders in their education to make sure that they stay in school.

2) The time is right
There is sufficient platform provided by Women’s Rights Activism, Women Disability Rights and the UN Charter on Disabilities. These international instruments will help to accelerate the effort to address and advocate for safe environment for girls who are blind and visually impaired to go to school.

3) HIV/AIDS
In Malawi, we are racing against the deadly HIV/AIDS pandemic. Not only is the rate of HIV/AIDS among people with disabilities threatening to scourge, on account of poverty related socio economic factors and attitudes, but sadly also due to prevalent cultural beliefs that having sex with a person with a disabilities will cure or ‘cleanse’ you of AIDS. Grace Massa, chairperson of Albinism Fellowship in Malawi intimates it is a common belief that girls with albinism are the best ‘cleansers’. (10)

According to the World Bank funded Global Survey of HIV/AIDS among disabled populations(11), HIV/AIDS is a significant and almost wholly unrecognized problem among disabled populations worldwide. A growing body of literature and experience supports the notion that HIV/AIDS educational, testing and clinical programs around the world are largely inaccessible to individuals with disability.

Continued low literacy rates among disabled individuals, particularly girls present real challenges to prevention efforts. It is therefore imperative that we address the issue of a safe environment for a girl who is blind to stay in school so that she can have higher literacy rates.

What strategies can we employ?
Concrete information: Obtaining information and data is the first step towards developing appropriate responses and services. It has been acknowledge that there is insufficient information in this important area. We need to undertake studies specifically addressing Violence against Girls with Disabilities and specifically with visual impairment because there are unique aspects to visual impairment.

Challenging stereotypes: through community education, youth projects and media campaigns. In particular challenging “the almost universal belief that disabled people cannot be a reliable witness on their own behalf.” (12)

Raising awareness: of the adverse effect SRGBV has on a girl who is blind to the various audiences that we have access to.

Empowerment Programmes specifically designed to empower girls who are blind and visually impaired. Many state that they fail to report incidents of violence because they were shy. Therefore, programmes to improve the assertiveness of girls are necessary.

However, shyness sometimes comes about because the reporting procedures themselves are not conducive. Therefore, advocating for the establishment of ‘safe pathways’ or procedures that encourages girls who are blind to report incidents of violence.

Advocacy & Coalition Building – by remaining alert on SRGBV issues and participating in the wider advocacy arena, we can influence changes in legislation, school practice and curricula aimed at stopping violence against girls and we will have opportunity to add a voice regarding the girl who is blind. Joining established ‘voices’ or platforms such as the Civil Society Coalition will add credibility and muscle to our voice. Going it alone is unnecessary and expensive. However for us to participate in this advocacy effort we need to bring a body of evidence to the table, hence the need for professional research in this area.

Motivation & Role Models – What would be the point of going to school if there no hope of you getting employment or engaging in meaningful pursuits? There is a role that role models can play. In this regards, the few girls who are blind and have completed their education and are participating meaningfully and interdependently in society need to be involved in programmes to reach the younger blind girls and talk to them about what career options they have. In this regard most of the key informants to this interview are in that category. They have demonstrated that they are not passive victims of harassment and violence. Theirs are stories that also need to be told.

(1) CSCQBE report 2005
(2) The Girl Child: Having to Fit by Yasmin Jiwani 19998.
(3) The FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Girls and Women
(4) Sexual Harassment in School, An invisible issue for Girls and Young Women with Disabilities, Harilyn Rouso
(5) Disabled Women and violence Fact sheet, B.F. Waxman Fiduccia
(6) Study Report: Violence Against Girls in School by University of Malawi, Centre for Social Research
(7) Education Basic Statistics Malawi 2005, ME&HRD Statistics Unit, Page 33
(8) Harilyn Rousso, Sexual Harassment in Schools: An invisible Issue for Girls and Young Women with Disabilities
(9) Having a Daughter With a Disability: Is it Different For Girls? An extract from news Digest
(10) Newspaper article, Grace Massa, Chairperson of Albino Association in Malawi
(11) Groce N. Global Survey on HIV/AIDS and Disability. The World Bank/Yale University. April 2004. http://circa.med.yale.edu/globalsurvey
(12) Nosek MA, Howland CA, Hughes RB. The investigation of abuse and women with disabilities: going beyond assumptions. Violence Against Women2001; 7:477-99.

_________________________________

We Can Do first received this paper via the Disability Information Dissemination Network, which is sponsored by Sightsavers International. If you wish to receive papers like this one directly, you can subscribe to the CSID mailing list by sending an email to csid@bdmail.net or csid@bdonline.com and putting the word “join” in the subject line.


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